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- Highs Achingly beautiful, joyful driving character, muscular V-8 or massively powerful V-12.
- Lows Not luxurious enough for the money, manual transmission only offered on the coupe, V-12 engine is already sold out.
- Verdict The Aston Martin Vantage is an NFL fullback dressed in a tightly tailored tuxedo, which makes it the perfect car in which to play the role of your favorite secret agent man.
Few cars blend beauty and driver delight like the 2023 Aston Martin Vantage. In both coupe and convertible form, it casts a striking silhouette in its couture-inspired suit of impeccably pressed sheetmetal. Most models are powered by a twin-turbo V-8 making more than 500 horsepower, while a lucky few buyers will wind up with an even more powerful twin-turbo V-12. No matter the powertrain, the Vantage impresses with an athletic chassis, lively handling, and explosive acceleration—not to mention some of the most melodic exhaust notes available today. The interior is snug and can be customized with several high-end options, though we have one complaint: a relative lack of luxury for the Vantage's six-figure price tag. Still, with styling this sleek and moves this exciting the Vantage is a highly desirable driver's car with an iconic heritage.
Where This Vehicle Ranks
What's New for 2023?
A V-12 engine returns to the Vantage lineup for 2023 and it's a whopper of a powerplant featuring twin-turbocharging and 690 horsepower. The twin-turbo V-12 will be offered in both the coupe and convertible Vantage models, along with a special aerodynamics package for greater downforce. Aston claims a 3.4-second zero-to-60-mph time, which may be conservative. Unfortunately, the order book for this exclusive model is already closed, and only 333 will be produced.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
Choosing between the Vantage coupe and convertible is difficult. Only the hardtop comes with a stick shift, but the soft-top version lets us feel the wind in our hair—and better appreciate the Aston's glorious engine notes. In the end, we think the money we'd save by selecting the coupe would influence our final decision. Plus, that money would let us personalize our Vantage with the myriad interior and exterior treatments that are offered. We'd also opt for the heated and ventilated front seats to help keep our backsides hot or cold on demand, but we'd pass on the carbon ceramic brakes. However, we would stick with the standard manual transmission thanks to its added engagement.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
Beneath the Vantage's clamshell hood lies either a thrilling, thundering twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 or a monster of a twin-turbo 5.2-liter V-12. The base V-8 engine develops either 503 or 528 horsepower and 505 lb-ft of torque. The higher output V-8 is reserved for the track-inspired F1 Edition. The V-12 engine makes 690 horsepower, and Aston claims it's good for a 3.4-second zero-to-60-mph time—but we think that's a conservative estimate. While the regular Vantage feeds the rear wheels through either a seven-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic transmission, the F1 Edition only comes with the latter. We drove the F1 on track discovered a meaningfully sharpened driving experience. Still, going with the regular model's manual transmission creates a purer connection with the powertrain than the autobox, and also has the added performance benefit of removing 209 pounds. The Vantage's V-8 sounds beautiful, starting with a low baritone rumble at idle and finishing with a high-strung shriek as it nears its redline. An electronically controlled limited-slip differential and adaptive dampers are standard. The Vantage's handling is lively but predictable, which makes it hilariously good fun on a race track; the suspension is compliant enough for daily-driver duty, although harsh bumps will be obvious to passengers no matter which drive mode is selected for the adaptive dampers. Unfortunately, the optional carbon-ceramic brakes are less amicable during daily driving. While they're excellent when enlisted for track duty, the upgraded brakes are too grabby for everyday use. We did get behind the wheel of the Vantage Roadster, praising its look-at-me personality as well as its ability to transition between behaving like an athlete and a lounger.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The Vantage isn't as thirsty for fuel as its powerful V-8 engine might suggest, at least not when equipped with the automatic transmission. The EPA estimates that models with the automatic will earn 18 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway. Models with the manual are rated at 14 mpg city and 21 highway. However, we haven't run a Vantage with either transmission on our 75-mph highway fuel-economy route, which is part of our extensive testing regimen, so we can't evaluate its real-world mpg. For more information about the Vantage's fuel economy, visit the EPA's website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The exterior theatrics continue inside with upscale materials and countless custom options. It's easy to spend money on the Vantage: Aston Martin offers fancy options such as a full-leather interior, heated and ventilated seats, a carbon-fiber steering wheel, embroidered headrests, and several different options for interior trim, among many other features. The cockpit is snug for two, but it's lined with leather and faux suede. Likewise, sport seats with power adjustments and memory settings are standard. Still, its luxury experience is diminished by poor noise isolation on the highway. Interior cubby storage is also scarce except for a shallow center-console bin and door pockets. The convertible's power-operated fabric roof folds up and down quickly and features a Z shape that Aston says helps save trunk space. While the Vantage Roadster has a slightly smaller trunk than the coupe, we're told that it's still able to fit a full-sized golf bag.
Infotainment and Connectivity
An 8.0-inch display sprouts from the top of its dashboard and is primarily controlled via a rotary knob and buttons on the center console. The Vantage's infotainment system also includes an Aston Martin audio system, Bluetooth compatibility, and built-in navigation. While an upgraded audio system and touchpad are optional, popular features such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration are absent.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Although Aston doesn't offer a full suite of driver-assistance technology, the Vantage can be equipped with several safety features. For more information about the Vantage's crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Available 360-degree camera system
- Available blind-spot monitoring
- Available self-parking assist
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
While Aston's standard warranty isn't very impressive, especially since complimentary maintenance is not included, the company does offer extended coverage plans for extra money.
- Limited warranty covers three years or unlimited miles
- Powertrain warranty covers three years or unlimited miles
- No complimentary scheduled maintenance
2023 Aston Martin V12 Vantage
Vehicle Type: front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 2-passenger, 2-door hatchback
Base: V-12 Coupe, $300,000 (est)
twin-turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 48-valve V-12, aluminum block and heads, direct fuel injection
Displacement: 318 in3, 5204 cm3
Power: 690 hp @ 6500 rpm
Torque: 555 lb-ft @ 1800 rpm
Wheelbase: 106.5 in
Length: 177.7 in
Width: 77.2 in
Height: 50.2 in
Passenger Volume: 47 ft3
Trunk Volume: 10 ft3
Curb Weight (C/D est): 3960 lb
PERFORMANCE (C/D EST)
60 mph: 3.2 sec
100 mph: 7.0 sec
1/4-Mile: 10.7 sec
Top Speed (mfr's claim): 200 mph
EPA FUEL ECONOMY (C/D EST)
Combined/City/Highway: 18/15/23 mpg